The United Nations Human Rights Council will “produce a database of all business enterprises” operating in Israel’s settlements in territory occupied in 1967. The company blacklist was approved as part of a series of five resolutions passed by the Geneva-based group, condemning Israel’s control over Palestinian lands and re-affirming European guidelines to label Israeli products originating in the settlements.
The Council also decried specific Israeli practices it outlined as “undermining” the status quo between the parities including a recent large land confiscation in the West Bank and settlement construction in Area E1—a land corridor where settlements would sever the territorial continuity of the West bank.
The Palestinian envoy to the Council Ibrahim Khreisheh released a statement to “countries opposed to the implementation of international law in the occupied State of Palestine,” asking them to “consider the impact their disregard for international law has within the international legal sphere and the Israeli violations they are perpetuating against the Palestinian people.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly criticized the human rights body after the vote, stating the Council had enacted a double standard.
“The UN Human Rights Council has become an anti-Israel circus. It attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea,” Netanyahu said. “The absurdity is that instead of dealing with the Palestinians’ terrorist attacks and those of Daesh in Europe, it decides to condemn Israel. Israel calls on responsible governments not to honor the decisions of the Council that discriminate against Israel.”
Israel’s envoy to the Council said the resolutions showed, “The Human Rights Council had become an inflammatory environment.”
“Instead of contributing to a more peaceful environment, it contributed to deepened the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Was this a farce or a tragedy?” said the representatives in a statement released by the United Nations.
The resolutions comes two weeks after Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat told the British outlet Asharq al-Awsat that Secretary of State John Kerry relayed to him the United States intended to block any resolution on settlements presented to the United Nations Security Council, reported the Jerusalem Post earlier this month.
While the Security Council has the ability to order international intervention, the less powerful Human Rights Council is tasked with building institutions and drafting reports that promote human rights.